The honors went to Chris Alexander, executive director of the state’s Office of Cannabis Management, who shelled out $96 for the goods at the dispensary run by the nonprofit Housing Works at East Eighth Street and Broadway.
Alexander was among a host of local elected officials and a gaggle of media who assembled in the Housing Works Cannabis Co. store ahead of its official opening at 4:20 p.m. He made the purchase hours before doors opened to the public.
Regular customers started lining up around 12:30 p.m., and by the time the store opened, the line wrapped around the block and extended past the Astor Place Starbucks.
Kenneth Woodin, a 33-year-old Houston native who now lives in Ocean Hill, was the first member of the public to patronize the store.
“I just want to be a part of history with my people, people who smoke, people who are down,” said Woodin. He said he has friends who have been incarcerated on marijuana charges.“Here, I get to be free, I get to be a part of freedom,” he said.
The store was rapidly assembled so it could open before the end of the year, allowing Gov. Kathy Hochul to fulfill her promise of opening the state's first dispensary before 2023. Its decor included colorful posters with the slogan, “make love, not drug war.”
Photographed for Gothamist, with words by Caroline Lewis and Gwynne Hogan.
'A part of history': NYC's first legal weed store is open for business - Gothamist
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